Rynier Van Alstyne


Spelled and referred to variously, Albany resident Rynier Van Alstyne was born in April 1725. He was the only son born to the brief marriage of Albany area residents Jacob and Pieterje Van Iveren Van Alstyne. That family was capped at four when Rynier lost his father in 1730.

In November 1748, he married Cornelia Vandenbergh at the Albany Dutch church. By 1760, four of their children reflecting the names of both sets of grandparents had been christened in the church where both parents were pewholders and occasional baptism sponsors.

This Van Alstyne family made its home in Albany's second ward. During the 1750s and 60s they were city mainliners where "Rynar Van Alstin" was known as a shoemaker. In 1756, their home on the hill was profiled by the British as being suitable for quartering six to eight soldiers. In 1767, his house in the second ward was accorded a substantial assessment. That roll also valued another lot in the same section of the city. In March 1779, his lot (without personal property) in the second ward was assessed modestly.

In 1746, "Reynier v. Alstyn" had been named constable for the second ward. In 1753, he was appointed firemaster for the third ward. In 1767, his name was listed on the roster of an Albany militia company. In November of that year, the Albany council directed a payment of £30 to "Bastiaen Visher & Rynier Van Alstyne" for services to the city.

Just fifty at the outbreak of hostilities, we expect to find some involvement for him during the era of the American Revolution. This Rynier probably relocated to the Manor during that time as later he was accorded a "land bounty right" in conjunction with the Fifth Regiment of the Albany County militia.

In 1790, the Rensselaerswyck household of seven members and two slaves was configured on the census under "Rhineas" Van Alstine next to the household of one Jacob Van Alstine. In April 1791, "Reynier Van Aalsteyn" leased a farm of 269 acres in Greenbush (De Freestville section) from the Van Rensselaers.

In October 1794, "Rynier Van Alstyne" was listed among the members of the "Reformed Church at Greenbush."

After that, the existence of a younger, same-named contemporary dictates caution in the assignment of qualitative information.

As late as 1802, his lot "in Fox St" was assessed nominally but he was identified as a "non resident."

We seek defining information on the later life and passing of one-time Albany resident Rynier Van Alstyne. Family-based resources estimate that he may have lived until 1825.

biography in-progress


the people of colonial Albany Sources: The life of Rynier Van Alstyne is CAP biography number 6630. This sketch is derived chiefly from family and community-based resources. Online resource;

first posted 3/10/15; last updated 8/15/15